Eye pillows are a wonderful way to enhance your meditation. They reduce sensory stimulation, relax the tense muscles around the eyes and face, and promote deep relaxation. I use mine for meditation, Savasana, and nana-naps on bright, sunny days. But, for eye safety and hygiene it is best to have your own eye pillow to keep at home, or take to yoga class. For a pillow that is easier on the eyes, make your own out of fabrics that don’t irritate your eyes or skin, and a washable cover to regularly remove dust, makeup and those sweet yoga tears.
It takes about 10 minutes to make an eye pillow and if a trip to the fabric store doesn’t sound relaxing, you can make them out of stuff you can find around the house. For the fabric you can cut up an old pillowcase or t-shirt, and to provide that soothing density that we love in an eye pillow you can use flax, rice, lentils, or other dry goods in the pantry. I’ve given you the measurements I used in my eye pillows, but I made them up, so you can make up your own measurements too!
Please Note: I am not a crafty person, so if I can make these, anyone can make them!
• 25 x 25cm square of calico or other similar fabric for eye pillow
• 16 x 54cm length of fabric for washable cover
• 240 grams of flax seeds (or rice, lentils etc)
Making the Eye Pillow Insert:
1. Start with a 10 x 10cm square of calico or other similar fabric.
2. Sew one short end and one long end, then turn it inside out.
3. Fill with about 240 grams of flax seeds (or rice, lentils, etc).
4. Fold in the top edges to make a small hem and stitch to close the top. Now you have your eye pillow insert.
Note: whether you are using a machine or hand-stitching, be sure your stitches are tight enough that your flax can’t escape.
Making the Eye Pillow Cover:
1. Now, take a piece of fabric to make the washable cover. Natural fibres like cotton or bamboo are wonderful, or you might prefer something cool and silky, or I opted for a deluxe faux-suede fabric.
2. Cut a long strip of fabric 16cm x 54cm
3. With the fabric face-down, turn the short ends over and stitch a 1cm hem on both ends.
4. Turn the fabric face-up, and fold the short ends in towards the middle, with one end folding over the other. Pin the sides and sew the long edges together
5. Fold the fabric right-side out through the gap in the middle of the fabric and smooth out the corners.
6. Tuck the eye pillow insert into the cover and enjoy!
Note: You can sprinkle a drop or two essential oil on the eye pillow insert, just be sure that it’s on the side facing away from the eyes as, depending on the cover material you choose, it could cause eye irritation.